10/04/06 — No mobile homes in city limits, board says

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No mobile homes in city limits, board says

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 4, 2006 1:52 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive Town Board decided in a split vote Monday night to keep the town's mobile home ordinance the way it is.

The town Planning Board had received two complaints in four years about restrictions on the placement of mobile homes and had recommended amending the ordinance to allow double-wide mobile homes in town and in its extraterritorial jurisdiction as a special use under certain conditions.

The existing ordinance bans any type of mobile home unless it will be erected in a mobile home park.

That posed a problem for Deborah Faison, who complained at a public hearing at the start of Monday's meeting that she bought a double-wide mobile home in June with the understanding that it would be permitted on a lot she owns on Breazeale Avenue. She said she was unaware of a 2002 amendment to the town's zoning ordinance that banned all mobile homes except those in mobile home parks.

Planning Board member Gina Knode said it took the town 10 years to develop the existing ordinance and that the Planning Board would not have sought the amendment if Ms. Faison had not asked for help. She said the Planning Board met every week for at least a month to try to find a solution but could not come up with one except the special use exception.

Ray McDonald Jr. said Ms. Faison should seek help from the town Board of Adjustments. McDonald, also speaking during the public hearing, said he sympathized with her predicament, but he noted that in the past four years there have been only two complaints about the ordinance. He warned the town board that they would be "opening a can of worms" if they amended the ordinance.

"You're about to put yourselves in a position of picking and choosing who gets what and where," he told the board. "You decide this person is worthy and this one's not."

Paul Smalley told the board a double-wide mobile home went up near his house and was destroyed by a storm.

"You want to make sure you have a house that can withstand a violent storm," he said. "They look good. They may have a Jacuzzi. But will it stand up?"

Town board member Tom Preston made a motion to leave the ordinance the way it is. Board member Kenny Talton seconded the motion.

"We wrestled with the issue several years," Talton said. "I haven't had one complaint in my district or outside my district."

All of the board members agreed with him except for Hosea Manley and Jimmy Kornegay, who wanted to allow single-wide mobile homes in town.

"I don't see nothing wrong with it, myself," Manley said. "You pass by it and you cannot tell the difference between it and a regular house."

Manley said there are many houses in Mount Olive that look worse that mobile homes. He said he would not mind if he owned a $1 million home and someone put a double-wide mobile home next to it.

Ms. Faison said she will be able get her money back from the double-wide, but added that she is unhappy with the board's decision.

"It's just wrong to deny somebody what to put on their own land. They want the land to just sit there and you to pay your taxes on it or sell it. I'm on a budget ... I don't sit behind a desk like they do and in their fine homes. They have no consideration for somebody else," she said.